Nora and Delia Ephron Dish About Their Favorite Piece of Clothing

A look back at when MORE went behind the scenes with the writers of Love, Loss and What I Wore

by Susan Avery • Digital Director
nora ephron image
Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron as kids (left) and now (right).

The producers of the Off-Broadway show Love, Loss, and What I Wore spent the past several weeks reviewing submissions from women around the country about their most memorable piece of clothing. Two lucky winners will have their monologue performed on the show's New York stage on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8th.

We had a chance to catch up with the original two playwrights, sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, who, naturally, had something to say about their favorite pieces of clothing.

 

We love the show! So, we’re dying to know…what’s your most memorable piece of clothing and why?

Delia Ephron:  My greatest emotional attachment -- the raspberry silk sweater I was wearing when I fell in love with my husband.  Loved that sweater.  A lacy weave, V neck.  Loose and moved a bit on its own.   I miss it right now.  (I was so entranced in this candlelit restaurant, I didn't notice that my menu had caught fire, but fortunately not me and fortunately not the sweater.)  I love that raspberry color so much, I am always looking for it, but perhaps I am also looking for the amazing feeling I had that night. 

Nora Ephron:  I used to buy the most wonderful dresses that Rudi Gernreich designed for Harmon Knitwear.  They were the essence of the 1960's, short, adorable, form-fitting.  Stripes, polka dots, bright colors.  They fit me perfectly and they made me realize that my body, which I had always found fault with, was actually perfect for the clothes of the moment ... and for clothes in general.  I loved those dresses.  One of my favorites was on sale on Ebay recently for $1500 (at the time, they cost about $68) and I swear I almost bought it even though it wasn't my size and I would never have worn it. 

The show has invited fan submissions for Mother’s Day - why do you think so many mothers and daughters enjoy Love, Loss, and What I Wore together? 

DE:  A million reasons.  Moms and daughters shop together -- Bonding, bonding, bonding.  Nora always points out that choosing our clothes is one of the first things we get to do.  When we can't choose what to eat or practically anything else we get to pick what we want to wear that morning. When we're teenagers, the battle to separate -- to make it absolutely clear that we are not our parents -- plays itself out in what we wear..   And our mothers are full of opinions -- of fashion dos and don'ts.  Our mother always said, Never buy a red coat.  I went right out and bought an orange one and a lime green one (which was the same as buying red if you know what i mean). 

NE:  When we were writing the show, we asked a lot of friends to tell us about their clothes, and of course they told us about their mothers.  Mothers are the most important fact for women anyway, but you constantly connect (or fail to connect) with your mother over clothes.    You connect and you separate.  Your mother forbids you to wear stockings -- or she gives you your first pair.  She gives you brilliant advice -- or she's all wrong and how could you possibly have listened to her? 

DE: When we were very young, we had these identical outfits.  Chinese mandarin collared shirts, ruffled  skirts with midriff tops, black velvet dresses with lace around the collars, the matching bathing suits with terrycloth robes.  Our mom was really into that, even though she wasn't into shopping.  And she sent us off alone as soon as it was possible.

We saw men in the audience enjoying the monologues (the purse one is particularly hilarious), but why do you think men don’t put sentimentality on their clothing? 

DE: With men, it's love, loss and what I drove.  Or they associate the major moments in their lives with music.  Lots of men remember the music.   Also I don't think men do that thing women do, which is reinvent themselves with clothing.  Also, let’s face it, women's clothes are a lot more fun.

First Published April 25, 2011

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